John Crowe Ransom

(30 April 1888 - 3 July 1974 / Pulaski Tennessee)

By The Riverside


A GREAT green spread of meadow land,
(Must rest his weight on an ample base),
A secret water moving on,
A clean blue air for his breathing-space,
A pair of willows bending down
In double witness to his grace,
And on the rock his sinner sprawls
And looks the Strong One face to face.


The sinner's mocking tongue is dry,
Wonder is on that mighty jeerer,
He loves, and he never loved before,
He wants the glowing sky no nearer,
He likes the willows to be two,
He would not have the water clearer,
He thinks that God is perfect once:
Heaven, rejoice! a new God-fearer.


And now each quiet thing awakes
And dances madly, wavers, dips;
These are God's motions on the air,
His Pulse for the sinner's finger-tips,
His arrows shot across the blue,
His love-words dropping from his lips,
And who ever heard such whisperings,
Who ever saw such fellowships?

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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